Archive for June, 2008

Maytime Flan

June 16, 2008

The recipe is from a weekly collection of cookbooks called ‘Nice & Easy’ that I used to buy when my children were small in the early 80s. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made this over the last – oh my goodness, twenty five years(!). It’s delicious warm but I more usually make it for picnics and parties (when I make a double sized one in a large flan dish) as it can be eaten cold with a salad and some new potatoes.

The original recipe says ‘serves 4’ giving the following quantities but if using as part of a picnic it will go much further.

215g shortcrust pastry
225g cottage cheese with chives (or other added ingredients but not pineapple)
3 eggs
25g butter
100g button mushrooms, sliced
half tsp dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tomato thinly sliced.

The one pictured was made with 300g cottage cheese (because that’s the size they had in the shop), 250g mushrooms (because I like them) and two tomatoes which where not sliced very thinly. I also sliced a couple of spring onions and mixed them into the cottage cheese. If using a larger quantity of cottage cheese either make sure you use large eggs or use an extra one (the pictured flan had three large eggs).

1. Preheat the oven to 200C

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line an 18cm loose-bottomed flan ring standing on a baking sheet. If you haven’t got a loose bottomed one you’ll just have to hope you don’t break the flan. As you can see from the photograph, I used a ceramic dish and served it in it. This is a fairly large dish – about 22cm so was big enough for the extra quantity of ingredients.

3. Prick the pastry with a fork, line with greaseproof and fill with baking beans. Bake blind in the oven for ten minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the cottage cheese into a bowl with the eggs and beat together with a fork until well mixed.

5. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the mushrooms and fry gently for two minutes (the original recipe says), stirring. You might want to substitute butter for something healthier but I like the flavour the butter gives. You might also want to cook them for longer – I did.

6. Drain well (if there is any fat left not absorbed by the mushrooms) then add the mushrooms to the cottage cheese mixture (see alternative below). Stir in the thyme (if using) and season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Pour the cottage cheese & egg mixture into the pastry case and arrange the tomato slices on the top.

8. Return the flan to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the filing is golden and set.

9. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Will keep for a few days in the fridge.
Nutritional info will be added when I get back from my holidays.

Alternative: instead of stirring the mushrooms into the cheese mixture, put them as a layer on the pastry before pouring the cheese mixture on top. I did that this time and I think I prefer it.


He Did It! I am SO Proud!

June 15, 2008

London to Brighton Bike Ride

At three thirty Rik called me to say that he was sitting outside the Harvester in Brighton. His legs were tired going up the final hill but he cycled all the 58 miles (93 kilometres) from London to Brighton. As he had to cycle 12 miles (19 km) to get the the start he did a total of 70 miles (112 km) today.

He can still be sponsored at <a href=””></a>.

Frozen Banana Treats

June 13, 2008

I have a personal trainer (yes, me, really!) and we’ve been discussing my food choices. I explained that while I eat lots of healthy food the emphasis was on lots. I told her I can keep chocolate in the fridge and just eat a little bit but that my current downfall was choc ices because you can’t have ‘just a bit’ of a choc ice.

Her face told me, before her words did, that eating choc ices is not a good thing – full of lots of bad stuff, apparently. If I thought about it, I’d realise I knew that.  So she suggested frozen bananas with chocolate sauce or maple syrup.

Yep, I can already hear you saying ‘but chocolate sauce and maple syrup is not healthy!’ You’re right it isn’t. But, as Estella (my PT) said, you’re only eating a little bit.

Her suggestion is to cut the bananas up into chunks and then put chocolate sauce or maple syrup over them – just drizzle it on they don’t have to be covered – then freeze them. I’m going to try this in July when I get home from my holidays. But, as I have real chocolate in the fridge and don’t want to buy chocolate sauce (especially as I don’t need the additives) I’m going to melt down some of the good chocoalte and use that. I might use cocktail sticks to stick into the bananas to hold them like a lolly. I’ll post a picture and let you know how they turned out when I do them.

Sponsored London to Brighton Bike Ride

June 12, 2008

My lovely, supportive SO is going to cycle from London to Brighton on Sunday (15th June). It’s to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

I am especially proud of him because nine months ago he had a horrible motorcycle accident when a roe deer ran into his bike while he was travelling to work. He broke his shoulder-blade, his collarbone, five ribs – all on his left side – and his right wrist was smashed so badly that the consultant told him that the end of the bone was crushed to a powder. Because he was broken both sides he couldn’t even feed himself at first.

He has worked so hard to get fit and well. He still has pain in his neck and he is having a long course of treatment from an osteopath. The osteopath has recommended that he has an operation to correct the collarbone as his should slopes downwards.

We live fifty miles from London so he will be staying with a London-based friend the night before the ride and will have to cycle 12 miles from the friend’s house to the official starting place before cycling the 56 miles to Brighton. So he’ll be cycling almost 60 miles.

If you would like to sponsor him you can do so at All donations welcome, large or small.

The name Thunderace is both the type of motorcycle he favours (his beloved blue Thunderace was written off in the accident) and his flickr name. You can check out his photographs at flickr

Sixty Supreme Sausages

June 3, 2008

My first delivery from The Sausage Club
Two packs of Wild Boar and Apples
One each of:
Nice & Spicy (very nice – will get again)
Lamb & Mint (for me)
English Pork Sausage
Toulouse Sausages
Pork & Stilton (for Rik) (very disappointing (Rik says))
The Cumberland (nice)
Pork, Venison & Mushrooms (nice)
Pork, Tomatoes & Black Pepper (great brekkie).

Guess what’s for tea tonight? Don’t worry, I shall count the calories. These are very good quality sausages, not full of fat and junk. We bought some at an exhibition earlier this year – I think it was Destinations (a travel show). They were delicious. When we saw the Supreme Sausages stand again at the Ideal Home Show in Earls Court in April we joined their Sausage Club. We got two free packs and have two lots of ten packs (any we want) delivered free during the year.

Nutrition: What I ate today

June 2, 2008

This is how my food was divided up today.
The tick is because it is pretty close to what weightlossresources say it should be.
But I only had 2.1 portions of fruit and veg, which is not nearly enough and nowhere near my usual. This is the first time I’ve tried making something like this in photoshop (or anything else).

The photo below is what I actually ate.

 1003 calories

Breakfast: 100g Optivita pineapple dessert, small tin of pineapple (with the juice in a glass) and a 90 cal Special K bar.

Lunch: 4 savours, one 16g Cote Sud cheese with nuts, 16g Cote Sud cheese with cucumber &amp; chives, 32g cherry tomatoes
Mid afternoon munchies: 26g Dairy Milk Turkish Delight

Dinner: steak (74g), boiled potatoes (160g), mushrooms (50g), orange peppers (26g), petit pois (46g)

Total: including spray oil for the frying and 200ml lemonade on waking:
1003 calories; 40g protein; 140g carbs; 32g fat; 9.5g fibre; only 2.1 fruit &amp; veg